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Touchless Touchscreen

Published on Apr 02, 2024


It was the touch screens which initially created great furore.Gone are the days when you have to fiddle with the touch screens and end scratching up. Touch screen displays are ubiquitous worldwide.Frequent touching a touchscreen display with a pointing device such as a finger can result in the gradual de-sensitization of the touchscreen to input and can ultimately lead to failure of the touchscreen.

To avoid this a simple user interface for Touchless control of electrically operated equipment is being developed. EllipticLabs innovative technology lets you control your gadgets like Computers, MP3 players or mobile phones without touching them. A simple user interface for Touchless control of electrically operated equipment. Unlike other systems which depend on distance to the sensor or sensor selection this system depends on hand and or finger motions, a hand wave in a certain direction, or a flick of the hand in one area, or holding the hand in one area or pointing with one finger for example.

The device is based on optical pattern recognition using a solid state optical matrix sensor with a lens to detect hand motions. This sensor is then connected to a digital image processor, which interprets the patterns of motion and outputs the results as signals to control fixtures, appliances, machinery, or any device controllable through electrical signals.

Touchless Touchscreen


The touch less touch screen sounds like it would be nice and easy, however after closer examination it looks like it could be quite a workout. This unique screen is made by TouchKo , White Electronics Designs , and Groupe 3D. The screen resembles the Nintendo Wii without the Wii Controller. With the touchless touch screen your hand doesn’t have to come in contact with the screen at all, it works by detecting your hand movements in front of it. This is a pretty unique and interesting invention, until you break out in a sweat. Now this technology doesn’t compare to the hologram-like IO2 Technologies Heliodisplay M3 , but thats for anyone that has $18,100 laying around.

You probably wont see this screen in stores any time soon. Everybody loves a touch screen and when you get a gadget with touch screen the experience is really exhilarating. When the I-phone was introduced,everyone felt the same.But gradually,the exhilaration started fading. While using the phone with the finger tip or with the stylus the screen started getting lots of finger prints and scratches. When we use a screen protector; still dirty marks over such beautiful glossy screen is a strict no-no. Same thing happens with I-pod touch.

Most of the time we have to wipe the screen to get a better unobtrusive view of the screen. Thanks to EllipticLabs innovative technology that lets you control your gadgets like Computers, MP3 players or mobile phones without touching them. Simply point your finger in the air towards the device and move it accordingly to control the navigation in the device. They term this as “Touchless human/machine user interface for 3D navigation ”.

Touchless Touchscreen


Sure, everybody is doing touchscreen interfaces these days, but this is the first time I’ve seen a monitor that can respond to gestures without actually having to touch the screen.

The monitor, based on technology from TouchKo was recently demonstrated by White Electronic Designs and Tactyl Services at the CeBIT show. Designed for applications where touch may be difficult, such as for doctors who might be wearing surgical gloves, the display features capacitive sensors that can read movements from up to 15cm away from the screen. Software can then translate gestures into screen commands.

Touchscreen interfaces are great, but all that touching, like foreplay, can be a little bit of a drag. Enter the wonder kids from Elliptic Labs, who are hard at work on implementing a touchless interface. The input method is, well, in thin air. The technology detects motion in 3D and requires no special worn-sensors for operation. By simply pointing at the screen,users can manipulate the object being displayed in 3D. Details are light on how this actually functions, but what we do know is this:

What is the technology behind it?

Touchless Touchscreen

It obviously requires a sensor but the sensor is neither hand mounted nor present on the screen. The sensor can be placed either onthe table or near the screen. And the hardware setup is so compact that it can be fitted into a tiny device like a MP3 player or a mobile phone. It recognizes the position of an object from as 5 feet.


The system is capable of detecting movements in 3-dimensions without ever having to put your fingers on the screen. Their patented touchless interface doesn’t require that you wear any special sensors on your hand either. You just point at the screen (from as far as 5 feet away), and you can manipulate objects in 3D. Sensors are mounted around the screen that is being used, by interacting in the line-of-sight of these sensors the motion is detected and interpreted into on-screen movements. What is to stop unintentional gestures being used as input is not entirely clear, but it looks promising nonetheless. The best part? Elliptic Labs says their technology will be easily small enough to be implemented into cell phones and the like. IPod touchless, anyone?

Touchless Touchscreen

Touch-less Gives Glimpse of GBUI:

We have seen the futuristic user interfaces of movies like Minority Report and the Matrix Revolutions where people wave their hands in 3 dimensions and the computer understands what the user wants and shifts and sorts data with precision. Microsoft's XD Huang demonstrated how his company sees the future of the GUI at ITEXPO this past September in fact.

Touch-less SDK:

The Touchless SDK is an open source SDK for .NET applications. It enables developers to create multi-touch based applications using a webcam for input. Color based markers defined by the user are tracked and their information is published through events to clients of the SDK. In a nutshell, the Touchless SDK enables touch without touching. Well, Microsoft Office Labs has just released “Touchless,” a webcam-driven multi-touch interface SDK that enables “touch without touching.”
Using the SDK lets developers offer users “a new and cheap way of experiencing multi-touch capabilities, without the need of expensive hardware or software. All the user needs is a camera,” to track the multi-colored objects as defined by the developer. Just about any webcam will work

Touchless Touchscreen

Touch-less demo:

The Touch less Demo is an open source application that anyone with a webcam can use to experience multi-touch, no geekiness required. The demo was created using the Touch less SDK and Windows Forms with C#. There are 4 fun demos: Snake - where you control a snake with a marker, Defender - up to 4 player version of a pong-like game, Map - where you can rotate, zoom, and move a map using 2 markers, and Draw the marker is used to guess what…. draw!

What’s next??

Many personal computers will likely have similar screens in the near future. But touch interfaces are nothing new -- witness ATM machines. How about getting completely out of touch? A startup called LM3Labs says it's working with major computer makers in Japan, Taiwan and the US to incorporate touch less navigation into their laptops, Called Airstrike; the system uses tiny charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras integrated into each side of the keyboard to detect user movements.
You can drag windows around or close them, for instance, by pointing and gesturing in midair above the keyboard.You should be able to buy an Airstrike-equipped laptop next year, with high-end stand-alone keyboards to follow.

Any such system is unlikely to replace typing and mousing. But that's not the point. Airstrike aims to give you an occasional quick break from those activities.


Today’s thoughts are again around user interface. Efforts are being put to better the technology day-in and day-out. The Touchless touch screen user interface can be used effectively in computers, cell phones, webcams and laptops. May be few years down the line, our body can be transformed into a virtual mouse, virtual keyboard and what not??, Our body may be turned in to an input device.


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